News Archives - Earth Charter

The Earth Charter Game at the Sustainability Fair in São Paulo, Brazil

EC Game SP 1On 25 August 2018, biologist and environmental educator Patricia Abuhab, held 8 workshops of the Earth Charter Game during the Sustainable Turnaround Fair in Ibirapuera Park in São Paulo.

People of diverse ages and backgrounds have had the opportunity to experience a cooperative game that strengthens and disseminates the principles of the Earth Charter in a playful and engaging way.

About 80 people participated in the experience sharing knowledge, experiences of sustainable practices and dialoguing about the Earth Charter.

The 1st edition of the Earth Charter Game was launched in 2011 in Portuguese and English. Following years of development and building on the Earth Charter education philosophy.

The 8th edition of Sustainable Turnaround Fair (Virada Sustentável) in São Paulo was held from 23 to 26 August, with hundreds of activities aligned with the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in several locations in the city of São Paulo.

For more information on this contact: andora.abuhab@gmail.com

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Colloquium with Leonardo Boff and Alicia Barcena in Mexico

Written by: Mateo Castillo Ceja

Coloquio Universidades y sustentabilidad Univ Iberoamericana Mx 20 ago 1The Colloquium “University and Sustainability in Mexico“, was held on August 20, 2018 in Mexico City. It was organized by the Ibero-American University, which in 2016 made a commitment to promote sustainability inspired by the Earth Charter. Leonardo Boff was a witness of honor of that commitment two years ago.

The Colloquium brought together influential personalities in Latin America in the areas of sustainability and development.

Participants included: Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Leonardo Boff, theologian, philosopher, writer, professor, Brazilian ecologist and member of the Earth Charter Commission; Julia Carabias, biologist and academic from the Faculty of Sciences of the National Autonomous University of Mexico; Enrique Leff, economist and environmental sociologist and Martha Delgado, environmentalist and former Secretary of the Environment of Mexico City.

Martha Delgado, being the first to intervene, highlighted “the lack of attachment and appreciation of the planet”, emphasized that children now learn to manage an IPad instead of learning to plant a tree, and above all expressed that sustainability professionals need to understand the ethics of life, it is about training the new saviors of the world.

Coloquio Universidades y sustentabilidad Univ Iberoamericana Mx 20 ago 3Enrique Leff said that “the environmental issue are a bitter drink”, “a problem of understanding life”, and therefore stated that the university must assume a position without condition. It highlighted the importance of ethics, where it must go beyond scientific understanding and that interdisciplinarity helps metaphors.

Julia Carábias began her intervention with a questioning: has the academy gone to the rhythm of sustainability?, concluding a resounding NO, due to the lack of understanding of complex systems citing Rolando García. She expressed concern about environmental issues where as a policy is not well drawn in the development program of the Government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, president-elect of Mexico. Her concern about the loss of the integral vision of sustainability stood out rescuing the ethical dimension.

Alicia Barcena expressed her concern about “the current model of development that has already run out”, so that the creation of a culture of equality becomes urgent. She warned that humanity has overcome four of the nine planetary boundaries. Supported by a statistical analysis, she said that we are in a time of changing mega trends. She also noted the need to double the minimum wage of Mexicans. In conclusion she encouraged the public with the vision of the Popol- Vuh, from this cosmovision, we have to think of a development that includes all.

Coloquio Universidades y sustentabilidad Univ Iberoamericana Mx 20 ago 2Leonardo Boff called for fundamental changes in our way of doing things and how we treat ourselves. We live in disgrace, because we live in a world where wealth is not destined for life. Inspired by the Earth Charter as a reference in his dissertation, he shared his concept of sustainability using his book Sustainability, what is and what is not,:
Sustainability refers to the set of processes and actions aimed at maintaining the vitality and integrity of Mother Earth and the preservation of its ecosystems, with all the physical elements, the life of current and future generations, as well as continuity, expansion and realization of the potentialities of human civilization in its various expressions.
He added “in accordance with the Earth Charter, sustainability appears as a matter of life and death.”
He concluded his dissertation summoning us to “not preach optimism but hope” and that the problems of the Earth do not take away the joy of hope”.  He closed with the text of the Earth Charter: ” Let ours be a time remembered for the awakening of a new reverence for life, the firm resolve to achieve sustainability, the quickening of the struggle for justice and peace, and the joyful celebration of life. ”

Participants congratulated the organizers for the creation of the Transdisciplinary Center for Sustainability, the first in the country with the idea to integrate different disciplines to face our civilizatory crisis and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

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Launching Reverence for Life Awareness Week in 2018

Reverance for Life SchwezerThe charity “Reverence for Life UK” (RfLUK) will inaugurate the first “Reverence for Life Awareness Week” from the 15th – 23rd September 2018.

Amongst the several projects, they have planned for that week there will be a series of daily postings on Facebook and on their website inviting contemplation of what the phrase “Reverence for Life” can mean and suggesting simple ways in which it can find expression and motivate action in our lives.reverence uk

As one of the celebratory actions, RfLUK will be re-endorsing the Earth Charter as the most profound and up to date expression of the ethics of Reverence for Life in the realm of governance.

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Saving endangered species

In this context, Percy Mark, past chairman of RfLUK and longtime friend and supporter of Dr. Albert Schweitzer, wrote a short essay to show the connection between Albert Schweitzer’s early preoccupation with issues of governance and between Reverence for Life and the Earth Charter.  Find this essay by clicking here.

All are invited to engage with the Reverence for Life Awareness Week at the local level and from your own context between Saturday 15th to Sunday 23rd September. The ‘Week’ is organized around the following themes for each of the eight days.

DAY ONE – Reverence for Life is:

TREATING ALL CREATURES WITH RESPECT, KINDNESS & EMPATHY

DAY TWO – Reverence for Life is:

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The ethos of a leper community in India

RELATING TO ALL HUMANS EQUALLY AS INDIVIDUALS

 DAY THREE – Reverence for Life is:  

ACCEPTING OUR RESPONSIBILITY FOR ALL LIFE ON EARTH.

DAY FOUR – Reverence for Life is:

EACH PERSON ACCEPTING THEIR OWN LIFE AS A GIFT

DAY FIVE – Reverence for Life is:

AWARENESS OF THE IMPACT OF TECHNICAL & DIGITAL INNOVATION

DAY SIX – Reverence for Life is:

THE ETHICAL PRINCIPLE WHICH PERMEATES THE EARTH CHARTER

DAY SEVEN – Reverence for Life is:

Percy Mark and Albert Schweitzer in Lambarene, Gabon.

Percy Mark, Verena Mark and Albert Schweitzer in Lambarene, Gabon.

AN ETHOS WHICH CAN BE FOUND EMBEDDED IN MOST CULTURES

DAY EIGHT – Reverence for Life is:

A PHILOSOPHY WHICH SEEKS TO REVIVE HOPE, AND GIVE PURPOSE TO OUR LIVES TODAY AND FOR THE FUTURE

For more information visit Reverence for Life UK  and Reverence for Life UK Facebook.

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Capacity building for the Ministry of Public Education of Costa Rica

MEP Bimodal 4The Earth Charter Center for ESD at the University for Peace is offering a training course for teachers and administration staff of the Ministry of Public Education of Costa Rica on Education for Sustainable Development.

The course has 80 hours with a hybrid modality (face-to-face and online) distributed in 64 virtual hours and 16 face to face hours. In terms of calendar time, the course lasts approximately one and a half months.

The general objective is to strengthen the capacity of participants to reorient their education practices towards sustainability and to apply teaching strategies that promote education for sustainable development in educational processes.

The course has six modules, in which participants have the opportunity to deepen their knowledge about sustainable development, the current challenges of global change, delve into the concept and pedagogy of education for sustainable development, putting into practice the knowledge acquired from a practical project.

For 2018, this course will be offered for two groups, each one with 20 people. The participants are teachers and administrative staff from different parts of the country.

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VIVA Schmidheiny Awards – Entrepreneurs Competition

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The VIVA Schmidheiny Award is an annual contest that challenges social entrepreneurs and innovative organizations, helping them to strengthen the management of their projects and to scale their impact.

In its 2018 edition, they joined forces with Earth Charter International and the University for Peace, for this reason, the contest and award ceremony was held in Costa Rica at the Earth Charter Education Center facilities.

The Awards are granted in 4 categories: NGOs with Environmental Impact, NGOs with Social Impact, Companies with Environmental Impact, and Companies with Social Impact; and 2 special awards: Innovation in Collective Action, and Public Vote.

Three finalists from each of these categories (and from 10 countries) traveled to this award event to present their initiatives before an expert panel of international judges, who are in charge of selecting the winners.

The first places in each category received a prize of USD$15,000; and the second places USD$2,500. In addition to the cash prizes, each of these 12 finalists will receive a scholarship to attend the VIVA 2018 Workshop, a social entrepreneurship training space aimed at strengthening their strategies and scaling up their impact.

The finalists will also have the possibility of winning the special prize to the “Public Vote” for USD$5,000 and the special prize for “Innovation in Collective Action” of USD$2,000.
The prizes are designed with three purposes:

• Promote innovation for sustainability
• Train new entrepreneurs
• Generate and exchange knowledge

The VIVA Schmidheiny Awards are evaluated by a multinational jury, composed of entrepreneurs, investors, academics, and successful leaders with experience in social entrepreneurship. On behalf of the Earth Charter International, Alicia Jiménez participated as part of the jury.

During the ceremony, there were several panels of experts talking about the topic of social and environmental entrepreneurship. The Director of the Earth Charter International, Mirian Vilela, gave a talk on the role of the Earth Charter as a guide for sustainable ventures.

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The Earth Charter in Practice in World of Walas

parkade_underAugust 2018 was a special month for the World of Walas in The Netherlands. The CarbonBlue Solar Park was officially opened. This project is a great example of putting the values of the Earth Charter in action in the private sector. Reading this article, you will recognize the Earth Charter’s principles on ecological protection, the eradication of poverty and equitable economic development.

World of Walas, an international company concerned with sustainable urban development, is driven by values and principles of the Earth Charter. CEO Gerben van Straaten has been a friend and supporter of the Earth Charter since its launch in 2000, and is author of the Earth Charter Cities Manifesto.

carbonblue_topviewThe Walas team was concerned about the electrical energy use of the Carbon6 complex, one of the Walas projects in the city of Heerlen, The Netherlands. Leveraging the spacious parking lot, the CarbonBlue Urban Solar Project was created to offer a solution to further reduce the energy costs and reliance on the energy grid, and to transition to cleaner energy sources.

Parking is required for the local community and to meet the demands of commuters using the nearby train station. While the parking spaces could not be eliminated, mounting solar panels on an elevated structure not only solves the problem of the panel placement, but also provides filtered light during the day, captures rain water, cleans the surrounding air and water, creates jobs (such as jobs for people with employment challenges or personal or professional barriers) and provides a green retreat for the community.

parkeerdek-CarbonBlue-Carbon6-en-Dudoc-Parkstad-waar-innovatie-samenkomt-960x480The CarbonBlue solar park will feed the solar energy (with an estimated production of 900,000 kWh each year) into the building as well as charging stations for electric vehicles, meeting an expected 35% of the energy demand of the Carbon6 complex.

The total investment of € 2.7 million has an expected payback period of 6 years and new business models include a car wash and energy storage will add to the final success. The project is the result of a close collaboration of partners from The Netherlands, Germany, Nigeria, Austria, and Canada.

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Proceedings of Education for Sustainable Living workshop

Education Sustainable LivingThe workshop ¨Education for Sustainable Living –  Advancing teaching and learning for responsible consumption¨ took place on 24th April  2018 in the framework of UNESCO Global Action Programme on ESD Global Network Meeting, in Costa Rica.

We are sharing here the proceedings of this workshop, which include the presentation files and some pictures from the days, as well as a summary of each session and a review of the workshop outcomes.

ESL Workshop Proceedings

This workshop was  organised  by: Latin  America  PERL  Regional  Network,  Centre  for  Collaborative  Learning  for  Sustainable  Development  at  Inland  Norway  University  of  Applied  Sciences and  the  Earth  Charter  Center  for  Education  for  Sustainable  Development.

Find here more information about PERL work on Education for Sustainable Lifestyles.

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Book on Sustainable Development Goal 15 – Life on Land

Book SDG15 Earth CHarterA Better World – Actions and Commitments to the Sustainable Goals, Goal 15: Life on Land, is a joint publication of Tudor Rose, a prominent UK book publisher, and United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).  Earth Charter International (ECI) made a contribution to this publication in collaboration with FUNDECOR, a Costa Rican NGO and ECI Affiliate that works on land degradation and ecosystems recovery programs.

This year, governments reported on their achievements related to several SDGs, among them SDG15-Life on Land.  That is one of the reasons why publishing this book, which was shared electronically during the High Level Political Forum in July 2018.  Hard copies will be available in September during the United Nations General Assembly.

A digital version of this book is available in this link.

This is the link to the article that FUNDECOR and ECI wrote, related to an experience in Costa Rica.

The book shows why it is smart and strategic to focus on the land degradation neutrality target of avoiding, reducing and reversing land degradation in the race to achieve Sustainable Development Goals. First, it offers solutions to most of the Goals and, therefore, would help to accelerate the achievement the Goals. Second, it brings together different actors and sectors, saving money and effort.

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International Earth Trusteeship Gathering in The Netherlands

INTERNATIONAL EARTH TRUSTEESHIP GATHERING
Governance, law, advocacy and practice
22 and 23 June 2018 in The Hague, The Netherlands

IMG_2340From all parts of the world, more than 80 people gathered in The Hague, The Netherlands for the International Earth Trusteeship Gathering. The gathering served as a welcome space for different initiatives, which share an interest in governance, law and legal structures, Earth practices and advocacy with the aim to heal the relationship between humanity and ecosystem Earth and fulfill our responsibilities as Trustees of the Earth.

“The protection of Earth’s vitality, diversity and beauty is a sacred trust.” – Preamble, Earth Charter

The gathering took place on 22 and 23 June, as a follow-up to the Earth Trusteeship Roundtable organized by Hans van Willenswaard (School of Wellbeing, Thailand) on 13 July 2017, in Utrecht, the Netherlands in the context of the international conference “Practicing the Commons”. This Roundtable brought together academics, lawyers, politicians, activists, farmers, researchers and others sharing a variety of initiatives and ideas. Keynote speaker Prof. Klaus Bosselmann presented an initiative of the Planetary Integrity Project, supported by the Common Home of Humanity project, to establish an Earth Trusteeship Council that would focus on maintaining or restoring ecological integrity on a United Nations / planetary scale. He also mentioned other ideas, such as a Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Responsibilities, which could be presented on 10 December 2018, the 70 years Celebration Day of UDHR. Klaus Bosselmann and Hans van Willenswaard initiated the Gathering to discuss these themes and prepare for 10 December 2018. The Earth Charter International acted as one of the organising partners, thanks to the active participation of Alide Roerink, member of the ECI Council and coordinator of Earth Charter The Netherlands. Rick Clugston, former member of the ECI Council and member of the Earth Charter Associates board took part in the Gathering.

IMG_2342The call for an International Gathering further stems from an e-mail discussion of January 2018 with several key persons of different nature rights organizations on the need and opportunity to present a draft Additional Protocol on Nature Rights to the UDHR at the next UN General Assembly. In this e-mail discussion, a proposal was made to organize a gathering that would bring together many closely related initiatives and ideas that exist around the world and have been raising the global awareness of the urgent need to restore our relationship with nature.

Another reason for an International Gathering was to create an opportunity for Dutch human rights, environmental and sustainable development organizations to have an exchange with these international initiatives.

On Friday 22 June, six thematic sessions took place to share ideas and explore ways of working together. Different initiatives were presented, such as the Universal Declaration for the Rights of Mother Earth and the Rights of Nature Europe.

The meaning of the term Earth Trusteeship was discussed and a draft joint proclamation was presented by Klaus Bosselmann. This draft document will be edited and a next version will be distributed among participants to prepare for an event on 10 December 2018 in The Peace Palace in The Hague, in the context of the 70th anniversary of UDHR.

20180623_092504-1The Gathering was accompanied by a fire ceremony and the SGI-ECI Seeds of Hope Exhibition. Also, the new film “The Rights of Nature: A Global Movement” was screened and an interesting conversation emerged with one of the filmmakers. Click here for more information on the film.

Many participants of the gathering referred to the Earth Charter document as the ethical foundation to build on, also for efforts to acknowledge the rights of nature. In addition, the Earth Charter Initiative was considered as the movement, which could serve as an important partner in the follow-up of the gathering.

Dialogue on rights of nature movement, also brought to light that indigenous peoples do not need to redefine their relationship with nature. Mother Earth exists in her own right. Who are we humans to ‘give’ her rights? The rights based vision in some dialogues was considered relevant in a western context. With respect to the term Earth Trusteeship, a few participants stated that they rather use the term ‘Earth stewardship’.

Click here to see the complete report on the gathering.

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Earth Charter endorsements in Mexico

Aval Colegio de Bachilleres de ChiapasThe following education institutions of Mexico endorsed the Earth Charter between May and June of 2018:
– Colegio de Bachilleres of Chiapas
– The Higher Technological Institute of Puruándiro, Michoacán
– The Polytechnic University of Aguascalientes

The Colegio de Bachilleres of Chiapas is the first secondary education institution, with more than 100,000 students, that recognizes the Earth Charter as a useful educational instrument and ethical framework to implement the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Higher Technological Institute of Puruándiro joins the national network of higher education institutions that have endorsed the Earth Charter. More than 400 education institutions have endorsed the Earth Charter in Mexico, and have committed to generating an Institutional Program for Education for Sustainable Development.
The Polytechnic University of Aguascalientes endorsed the Earth Charter on June 7, 2018, in a ceremony that was preceded by a training workshop on the Earth Charter with officials of this educational institution. This endorsement was promoted by the Focal Point of the Mexican Earth Charter Network in Aguascalientes, Ms. Gina Ventura.

The endorsement was signed by the Rector Luis Carlos Ibarra Tejeda, who affirmed the intention that the educational programs of this educational institution integrate the Earth Charter.

Attached an article published in a local newspaper, referring to this endorsement and photos of the ceremony.

 

Noticia Aval Universidad Politecnica Aguascalientes

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